Sharon L. Filkins
Patrick Wawrzniak and Rebecca Tully, parents of Brittany Wawrzniak, who died at the age of 18 in a tragic event in Worth on Nov. 8, 2013, were back in attendance at a board meeting at the Village Hall on Tuesday night.
This time it was icy as opposed to the red-hot fiery meetings they attended in the past as the family and friends were at odds with village officials and the police about the handling of the tragedy.
In contrast to their attendance at meetings in April, 2014, this meeting was calm and quiet, as they requested permission to erect a bench at the Worth Boat Launch at 115th Street and Beloit Avenue, in memory of Brittany.
Board members agreed unanimously in approving the installation of the approximately six feet wide, wrought iron and rosewood bench. “The family will purchase the bench, but the village’s Public Works Department will install it at the site,” said Worth Mayor Mary Werner.
Patrick publicly thanked the Mayor and the board and the couple left the meeting after the vote. They declined further comment when approached by a reporter. During one volatile meeting last year, both had plenty to say before, during and after the meeting, which was also covered by Chicago television statons.
Werner’s only post-meeting comment Tuesday was regarding the selected site for the bench.
"It is just a very peaceful place where people will be able to sit on the bench and enjoy the quiet.”
She added that the Wawrzniak case is closed and declined any further conversation on it.
Brittany was killed when she fell from a moving car and struck the pavement. She was pronounced dead at Christ Hospital less than one hour later.
An investigation into her death resulted in tumultuous meetings with the Worth Village Board as the Wawrzniak family and supporters sought the truth about her death and accused the Worth Police Department and Village officials of not conducting an effective investigation.
Werner, who previously had come under profane attacks from Wawrzniak supporters in several board meetings in 2014, said Tuesday that the bench would be a very nice addition to the village.”
"The area there near the walking trails and boat launch is beautiful and very peaceful,” she said.